SWPA's Annual News Bulletin 2023 - 2024

The South West Procurement Alliance (SWPA) is based in Exeter and comprises of a locally based team of six who dedicate their time to improving lives and places, through viable and efficient procurement solutions in the South West. SWPA are a regional business unit of LHC PG, who has over 50 years of procurement experience. Along with being a not-for-profit organisation and framework specialist, together nationally with LHC PG, SWPA is a procurement solutions provider who delivers added value services and social value through projects, emphasised further by LHC’s newly released Social Value Strategy.

Penny Searson, Regional Manager, heads the team and is supported by Kaye Wills (Technical Support Manager), Heather Rowland (Regional Procurement Manager), Rosie Bates (Client Support Manager), Dominika Plucha (Client Research Officer) and Poppy Stockport (Marketing and Communications Officer).

Throughout April 2023 to April 2024, SWPA has held key events and knowledge sharing conferences with colleagues, industry specialists, clients, and appointed Companies. Amongst a variety of different site visits, and industry engagements, has been exponential growth throughout the team, both in the team itself and in project increase, enabling the team to invest further in local causes and community groups, through the Community Benefit Fund in the South West.

 

 

2023 and 2024 has been a period of considerable change and significant growth for SWPA. It has been a privilege to work alongside our valued public sector clients, appointed companies, and industry partners to deliver a diverse range of projects and social value initiatives. We are feeling very optimistic for the future and look forward to continued support of regional priorities, with a focus on the delivery of much needed new homes, retrofit and decarbonisation, refurbishment, and compliance projects.

– Penny Searson, Regional Manager, SWPA

 

 

To kick off the new year, Kaye Wills took to the roads to see a variety of projects and construction sites, being delivered by SWPA’s frameworks. The first visited was a development of thirty homes for Aequus Construction Limited, the development arm of Bath and NES council, utilising Countryside Partnership as the primary contractor.

The second visit was in Dorset, to see Magna Housing working with Countryside Partnership (Drew Smith) to build a new, extra care home using the New Homes Framework (NH1). The third and final Spring visit was to Cornwall, to see Cornwall Council, with contractors Classic Builders, developing 15 new homes for the local community. This demonstrates a key focus on investing in local labour and assets, upskilling SMEs and improving the environmental footprint of construction.

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​​​Not too soon after, Kaye Wills and Mary Bennell (SWPA’s former Director) attended a Topping-Out Ceremony at St Martins in Gillingham, for the longest running project on the SWPA books. This project was for an extra care home in Gillingham, Dorset and was the first registered by the south west team in November 2017. It started on site on 21st October 2021 and is currently nearing completion. It will consist of 52 one and two bed flats with large communal areas, kitchens, activity rooms and a large, landscaped garden.

The project utilised an offsite manufactured steel framed system with metsec trusses, and a roofing system procured via the New Homes framework (NH1), installed by Countryside Partnerships (Drew Smith). The development in the small town of Gillingham, is an area with a number of historic buildings and one of the medieval walls was respectfully preserved and restored as part of the planning conditions.